From: Jim Forsyth, Reuters, SAN ANTONIO
Published January 1, 2011 09:51 AM

Texas files again to block EPA carbon rules

Texas on Thursday filed a fresh motion in federal appeals court to block the Obama Administration's attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the state, one day after another federal court rejected the state's petitions.

At issue is the state's lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prevent the agency from forcing it to issue greenhouse gas permits for its biggest polluters when national carbon rules take effect in January.


Until there is a ruling on the case, Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to block the EPA's mandate that the state expand its pollution regulations to include greenhouse gases.

The Fifth Circuit court denied that request on Wednesday.

On Thursday, EPA published in the Federal Register details of its proposed permit rules for Texas to go into effect on Sunday, January 2.

Texas officials then filed a fresh petition to block the regulations in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which generally has authority over federal agencies.

The petition argues that EPA's creation of the new rules is an "improper overreach" that violates the federal Clean Air Act, which it said "declares pollution prevention to be 'the primary responsibility of States and local governments,' and not the federal government."

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said the state was determined to fight the EPA's intentions, saying that Congress had rejected such carbon rules but the EPA was now trying to legislate them itself through administrative rules.

"Texas law does not currently deem greenhouse gases to be pollutants," Abbott said. "Once again, the federal government is overreaching, and improperly intruding upon the state of Texas and its legal rights."

Backed by a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the EPA issued a finding last year that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare.

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